FORECASTERS are warning residents to stay safe as Wirral is likely to be hit by Storm Hector.

Gusts of up to 60mph and 70mph locally are expected across the North West as the storm travels on Thursday.

The Met Office have issued a 'yellow' weather warning and suggest that they may have to issue severe 'amber' warning if the risk to life increases further.

During Wednesday night a windy spell will develop with an area of low pressure forecasters have named Storm Hector.

The strongest winds will hit Northern Ireland during the early hours of Thursday before spreading to the northern parts of the UK.

It is hoped the winds will ease during Thursday afternoon.

Longer journey times and cancellations to road, rail, air and ferry services are likely and there is a chance that some damage could be caused to buildings.

Power cuts may also occur and mobile phone coverage could be affected.

People are being urged be wary of flying debris and stay away from the coast as large waves could occur in places such as New Brighton.

Highways England has also issued a 'Severe Weather Alert' for drivers of high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes.

Drivers are also being urged to plan ahead of their journey, leave extra time if conditions are poor and delay travelling if the weather is too severe.

Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve.

"If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.

"In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”